© Rembetiko Festival “Markos Vamvakaris”

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2nd Rembetiko Festival “Markos Vamvakaris”

The Municipality of Syros in collaboration with the Cyclades Chamber organize the second Rembetiko Festival that will be included in the cultural program “Syros-Culture 2017”. The festival will be held between August 31 and September 4 in the city of Hermoupolis.

The Rembetiko Festival of Syros aims to pay tribute to the famous Syrian artist Markos Vamvakaris – known to many as Markos – a talented composer of popular music in Greece, who was considered the “patriarch of the rebetiko” and played a vital role as a leader of the rembetiko.

Music has always been an integral part of Syros’ culture since the first decades of the 20th century in the musical events of the island. Hence, one of the main objectives of the island’s municipality is the formal recognition of the artistical value of rembetiko and Markos Vamvakaris, who made rembetiko music and Syros well known on a worldwide scale.

Rembetiko, else known as the Greek blues, is one of the most renowned Greek music styles that was spread through Greek refugees coming from Asia Minor who settled in the city of Thessaloniki and the district of Pireaus in Athens. Rempetiko spread after the destruction of Smyrna from the Turks by refugees who used this type of songs to express their poverty, hunger, pain and betrayal. These were Greeks who had lost everything and have never lived in Greece expressing their feelings through a music style with Byzantine and Smyrna influences.

The schedule of the festival includes a wide variety of events such as lectures, exhibitions, children’ events, workshops, concerts, and book presentations in order to highlight Vamvakaris’ contribution to the music culture of Greece and promote the rembetiko music genre to younger generations by ensuring the cultural continuity of the country.

2017 Rebetiko Festival Program

August 30, 2017

Markos Vamvakaris – From myth in history 1600 – 2015

Presentation of the complete edition, including two books, by their author, Dimitris Varthalitis. A group of children in Ermoupolis of Syros, who quietly discover the secrets of the islands’ folk music with their teacher, the great musician Aristo Vamvakousis.

Nikos Tatasopoulos and Athena Lambiri with the duet Skoutas – Mitarakis

Nikos Tatasopoulos, one of the greatest artists of the bouzouki, son of the unforgettable Yiannis Tatasopoulos, also a great virtuoso and collaborator of M. Chiotis, V. Tsitsanis, M. Ninou and others.

At this concert, he works with Athena Lambiri, a new talented musician and singer who respects the aesthetics of this particular musical genre, also known by her collaboration with Giorgos Dalaras.

The duet “Skoutas – Mitarakis” is another special case. Outstanding musicians and performers, very dear to the world, with great experience and special style. Giannis Zaria, violinist of the well-known “Rebetien” orchestra, participates in the orchestra, completing this unique composition with his skill and experience in both rebetiko and Greek traditional music in general.

August 31, 2017


Seminar for the techniques of the folklore guitar by the duet Vasilis Skoutas – Dimitris Mitarakis.

Three Seasons of Rembetiko

A journey through the Asia Minor, pre-war and post-war Rebetiko. Banda Jovanica makes an attempt to search the invisible musical thread that connects the musical creation of the Asia Minor composers with the rich Balkan musical tradition.

September 1, 2017

Music Concert

A very special rembetiko concert by three musicians, Vasilis Antoniou from Mykonos, Georgios Vamvakousis from Syros and Petros Kousounadis from Tinos, who

September 2, 2017

Lecture & Seminar by Stelios Vamvakaris

A journey through the streets of folklore music and its technique.

Concert with Lacrindi

A music group made up of young children seeking their cultural identity through bourgeois folklore musical tradition.

September 3, 2017

Markos the Syrian

Book presentation for Markos Vamvakaris by the writer Giorgos Thanopoulos

Stelios Vamvakaris plays Markos in Syra

A tribute to Markos Vamvakaris from the group that presented it for the first time at Herodeion Theater (Athens) in 2012. . The show includes famous artists such as Sofia Papazoglou, Manolis Pappos, Evelina Angelou amongst others. Special guest will be Stelios Vamvakaris, son of Markos, who is known for his compositions and his craftsmaship in the bouzouki.

August 30 to September 3, 2017

Exhibition of traditional music instruments

The exhibition will take place at the Art Gallery G. & B. Vati. The opening hours of the exhibition will be 10:00-14:00 & 18:00-22:00 from August 31 to September 2 and 10:00-14:00 & 17:00-20:00 on September 3.